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To celebrate my Daughter's 21st Birthday, my Daughter and I boarded the beautiful Diamond Princess in Kobe for 2 back to back cruises - one 8 night cruise followed by a 10 night cruise. I did my homework before we left and knew that the majority on board were going to be a much older demographic and would be majority Japanese/Asian passengers. This certainly was the case. We knew this was not going to be a party cruise but one to see snapshots of both Taiwan, Japan and Korsakov in Russia. Although I have cruised many times and my Daughter only 4 times, we have never cruised Princess before. We read many reviews however, as cruising is a personal opinion and perception, we wondered what it would be like. It was fabulous. From the first step aboard the ship we were welcomed and treated like VIPs. Spending 18 nights anywhere can start to wear thin however we enjoyed every single minute. Although there were definitely language issues with fellow passengers, a smile is universal and we became quite gifted in the charade department :) All crew and staff spoke English and most of them spoke Japanese. As we booked the cruises separately we had to change cabins after the first cruise. The first cruise we had a fantastic cabin mini suite E728. This cabin is at the rear of the ship and has an extended balcony. It was spacious and we enjoyed every minute in it. It has a bath, roomy bathroom (for a ship), twin beds (or they can go together to make a queen), plenty of space for clothing to be hung up and drawer space, 2 tvs, sitting room with couch and table and of course the lovely balcony with table and chairs. This was particularly lovely when coming in and going out of ports. Many ports put on a welcome or departure show - dance/drums/flag waving etc. Leaving the balcony door a little open at night gave a wonderful sea serenade going to sleep. Our second cruise cabin was inside as this was all they had left when we decided to add the second cruise. We were dreading moving from our beautiful cabin but we were just so happy to be on board that we embraced our new "digs" and looked for the silver lining. We slept well as it was dark and we still had enough room for all our stuff (2 women who just cannot seem to travel light). We moved to inside cabin C214. Perfectly adequate. The food was we were told, influenced by the majority of the passengers who were of course Japanese/Asian. There was a wonderful mixture of asian/western food and we enjoyed every meal. After the first cruise we decided we preferred to dine in the Horizon Court Buffet as there was no anytime dining and we had a late dining sitting 7.45 plus we much preferred the ability to choose a plate of mixed food. We always found something we enjoyed. More than the food was the Staff in the Horizon Court. Whoever does the hiring of these staff should receive a pay rise as they are amazing, beautiful people. Nothing was ever too much trouble from the Supervisors right through all the staff. Supervisors Robert and Luigi were professional, friendly and just lovely Gentlemen as were all the staff in Horizon. Genuine smiles a mile wide and could not do enough for you. Cannot rave enough about these people. Horizon Court service was PERFECTION. Ports were enjoyable - some more than others. Japanese ports were better however Taiwanese ports were "memorable". To be honest we cruise just as much for the ship life as we do the Ports so we are generally happy wherever we go. Probably the biggest surprise was Korsakov in Russia. The show that was put on in the large hall just down from Lenin Square by the Russian dancers and singers was fantastic and gave us a real taste of Russia. Audience participation by fellow cruise members was a delight. We reached Korsakov by tender boat and did a bus tour - 2 hours of fun. One thing that surprised me and will no doubt surprise many other cruise goers was that for the first time I am aware of you could purchase alcohol packages for just the sea days. So, from day one and two you could purchase just sea days. I think it worked out to be approx $65 Australian Dollars per day. We did not know this until we met up with fellow young Aussie fellows (of course they had the alcohol packages) and just paid for the sea days so they got the best value. They loved this. We did not buy the alcohol package but purchased the Bubbles and More package ($10 US per day including gratuities) which gives you Hot Chocolate, sodas, thick shakes, milk shakes, ice cream sodas and best of all Mocktails. We had plenty of these. Virgin Pina Coladas, Chocolate Banana (yummo), Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and Nojitos. There are others but these are the ones that we tended to drink. We found this package to be super good value for us. When we wanted an alcoholic drink, we just paid for it. Another good thing we did is buy a bottle of vodka from Room Service. It cost us $17 US for a medium size bottle of vodka and we had mixers in our mini bar. We would have a drink whilst getting ready and it was very good value. There were lots of options of types of bottles of alcohol you could buy via Room Service. You do have to consume this in your room however. The nightclub, Skywalkers, closed at midnight as it was not patronised sufficiently to support keeping it open. That was fine. (I believe when this ship does Australian Cruises, the nightclub is open until almost sun up). We all (a group of people we had befriended along the way) congregated up there in the beautiful surroundings had fun and ordered double drinks at last call and talked on for another couple of hours. Sometimes the younger ones went hot tubbing, to the casino and/or went on to breakfast then hit the cabin for some zzzzs. There was great camaraderie amongst the members of this group and was a fantastic opportunity for them to meet up with people of other cultures and nationalities. I have read on other reviews that drinks packages were rammed down Passengers throats however, we did not find this at all. We had to seek out the drinks packages. They were available at a table at the Lobby Bar with a lovely young lady selling them however, they were not actively pushed nor was anything else. Unlike many other cruiselines I have been on, there was nothing that was being pushed. We received leaflets with our Princess Patter (daily activities guide) for massages or gift shop/specialty store sales etc but nothing more than that. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. Some good and some average. We always found fun in sharing company with other passengers and rarely had an early night. TVs in rooms were great. Flat screen TVs and lots of channels to choose from. I was surprised by the amount of free movies you had to select from and they were on demand so you didn't have to wait for a start time. You could also leave your movie and come back and resume it from where you left off. Room Service was fantastic. 24 hours per day and lots to choose from plus it is free. Lots of other cruise lines charge for room service but not Princess. The only thing they will charge you for is Pizza delivery. Not the pizza itself but a one off charge of $3 for the delivery. So, you can have however many pizzas you like and just the one charge of $3. We LOVED room service. Pick up the phone, make your order and within 15-30 minutes your food delivered. Missed dinner or late night snack - tea or coffee - they are more than happy to bring it to your cabin for you with a smile and good nature. Breakfast can be ordered daily if you like. We did sometimes but often missed breakfast due to the late hours we kept. We usually had Brunch in the Horizon Court. Afternoon tea is also served in the International Restaurant. Beautiful little cakes, tarts, slices, sandwiches, scones with jam and cream washed down with freshly brewed tea and coffee. Boy oh boy have we missed room service since coming home !!! We found the ship to be a pretty ship. So many things to see in each room. Pieces of art to mummies and a bucking bronco. We loved it. I would definitely cruise aboard this ship again. If you are thinking of cruising on this ship, we would recommend it. Princess have definitely won us over. We would highly recommend them. Thank you Princess and particularly the staff aboard Diamond Princess so very much for making our trip so enjoyable and memorable and particularly my Daughter's 21st Birthday memories something she will always treasure.

Ryukyu Islands &Taiwan Cruise and Hokkaido Cruise - 18 Nights total

Diamond Princess Cruise Review by Denice and Annalise

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2015
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
To celebrate my Daughter's 21st Birthday, my Daughter and I boarded the beautiful Diamond Princess in Kobe for 2 back to back cruises - one 8 night cruise followed by a 10 night cruise. I did my homework before we left and knew that the majority on board were going to be a much older demographic and would be majority Japanese/Asian passengers. This certainly was the case. We knew this was not going to be a party cruise but one to see snapshots of both Taiwan, Japan and Korsakov in Russia.

Although I have cruised many times and my Daughter only 4 times, we have never cruised Princess before. We read many reviews however, as cruising is a personal opinion and perception, we wondered what it would be like. It was fabulous. From the first step aboard the ship we were welcomed and treated like VIPs.

Spending 18 nights anywhere can start to wear thin however we enjoyed every single minute. Although there were definitely language issues with fellow passengers, a smile is universal and we became quite gifted in the charade department :) All crew and staff spoke English and most of them spoke Japanese.

As we booked the cruises separately we had to change cabins after the first cruise. The first cruise we had a fantastic cabin mini suite E728. This cabin is at the rear of the ship and has an extended balcony. It was spacious and we enjoyed every minute in it. It has a bath, roomy bathroom (for a ship), twin beds (or they can go together to make a queen), plenty of space for clothing to be hung up and drawer space, 2 tvs, sitting room with couch and table and of course the lovely balcony with table and chairs. This was particularly lovely when coming in and going out of ports. Many ports put on a welcome or departure show - dance/drums/flag waving etc. Leaving the balcony door a little open at night gave a wonderful sea serenade going to sleep. Our second cruise cabin was inside as this was all they had left when we decided to add the second cruise. We were dreading moving from our beautiful cabin but we were just so happy to be on board that we embraced our new "digs" and looked for the silver lining. We slept well as it was dark and we still had enough room for all our stuff (2 women who just cannot seem to travel light). We moved to inside cabin C214. Perfectly adequate.

The food was we were told, influenced by the majority of the passengers who were of course Japanese/Asian. There was a wonderful mixture of asian/western food and we enjoyed every meal. After the first cruise we decided we preferred to dine in the Horizon Court Buffet as there was no anytime dining and we had a late dining sitting 7.45 plus we much preferred the ability to choose a plate of mixed food. We always found something we enjoyed. More than the food was the Staff in the Horizon Court. Whoever does the hiring of these staff should receive a pay rise as they are amazing, beautiful people. Nothing was ever too much trouble from the Supervisors right through all the staff. Supervisors Robert and Luigi were professional, friendly and just lovely Gentlemen as were all the staff in Horizon. Genuine smiles a mile wide and could not do enough for you. Cannot rave enough about these people. Horizon Court service was PERFECTION.

Ports were enjoyable - some more than others. Japanese ports were better however Taiwanese ports were "memorable". To be honest we cruise just as much for the ship life as we do the Ports so we are generally happy wherever we go. Probably the biggest surprise was Korsakov in Russia. The show that was put on in the large hall just down from Lenin Square by the Russian dancers and singers was fantastic and gave us a real taste of Russia. Audience participation by fellow cruise members was a delight. We reached Korsakov by tender boat and did a bus tour - 2 hours of fun.

One thing that surprised me and will no doubt surprise many other cruise goers was that for the first time I am aware of you could purchase alcohol packages for just the sea days. So, from day one and two you could purchase just sea days. I think it worked out to be approx $65 Australian Dollars per day. We did not know this until we met up with fellow young Aussie fellows (of course they had the alcohol packages) and just paid for the sea days so they got the best value. They loved this. We did not buy the alcohol package but purchased the Bubbles and More package ($10 US per day including gratuities) which gives you Hot Chocolate, sodas, thick shakes, milk shakes, ice cream sodas and best of all Mocktails. We had plenty of these. Virgin Pina Coladas, Chocolate Banana (yummo), Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and Nojitos. There are others but these are the ones that we tended to drink. We found this package to be super good value for us. When we wanted an alcoholic drink, we just paid for it. Another good thing we did is buy a bottle of vodka from Room Service. It cost us $17 US for a medium size bottle of vodka and we had mixers in our mini bar. We would have a drink whilst getting ready and it was very good value. There were lots of options of types of bottles of alcohol you could buy via Room Service. You do have to consume this in your room however.

The nightclub, Skywalkers, closed at midnight as it was not patronised sufficiently to support keeping it open. That was fine. (I believe when this ship does Australian Cruises, the nightclub is open until almost sun up). We all (a group of people we had befriended along the way) congregated up there in the beautiful surroundings had fun and ordered double drinks at last call and talked on for another couple of hours. Sometimes the younger ones went hot tubbing, to the casino and/or went on to breakfast then hit the cabin for some zzzzs. There was great camaraderie amongst the members of this group and was a fantastic opportunity for them to meet up with people of other cultures and nationalities.

I have read on other reviews that drinks packages were rammed down Passengers throats however, we did not find this at all. We had to seek out the drinks packages. They were available at a table at the Lobby Bar with a lovely young lady selling them however, they were not actively pushed nor was anything else. Unlike many other cruiselines I have been on, there was nothing that was being pushed. We received leaflets with our Princess Patter (daily activities guide) for massages or gift shop/specialty store sales etc but nothing more than that.

Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. Some good and some average. We always found fun in sharing company with other passengers and rarely had an early night. TVs in rooms were great. Flat screen TVs and lots of channels to choose from. I was surprised by the amount of free movies you had to select from and they were on demand so you didn't have to wait for a start time. You could also leave your movie and come back and resume it from where you left off.

Room Service was fantastic. 24 hours per day and lots to choose from plus it is free. Lots of other cruise lines charge for room service but not Princess. The only thing they will charge you for is Pizza delivery. Not the pizza itself but a one off charge of $3 for the delivery. So, you can have however many pizzas you like and just the one charge of $3. We LOVED room service. Pick up the phone, make your order and within 15-30 minutes your food delivered. Missed dinner or late night snack - tea or coffee - they are more than happy to bring it to your cabin for you with a smile and good nature. Breakfast can be ordered daily if you like. We did sometimes but often missed breakfast due to the late hours we kept. We usually had Brunch in the Horizon Court. Afternoon tea is also served in the International Restaurant. Beautiful little cakes, tarts, slices, sandwiches, scones with jam and cream washed down with freshly brewed tea and coffee. Boy oh boy have we missed room service since coming home !!!

We found the ship to be a pretty ship. So many things to see in each room. Pieces of art to mummies and a bucking bronco. We loved it. I would definitely cruise aboard this ship again.

If you are thinking of cruising on this ship, we would recommend it. Princess have definitely won us over. We would highly recommend them.

Thank you Princess and particularly the staff aboard Diamond Princess so very much for making our trip so enjoyable and memorable and particularly my Daughter's 21st Birthday memories something she will always treasure.
Denice and Annalise’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin ME E728
Loved, loved, loved this cabin. No noise, spacious and the extended balcony was a beautiful bonus. Would recommend this cabin in a heartbeat.
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